Consultants who perform this procedure
Why would I need a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoid procedure?
If you have haemorrhoids that are causing you pain and discomfort, rubber band ligation of haemorrhoid procedure can provide relief from your symptoms.
What symptoms does a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoid procedure address?
A rubber band ligation of haemorrhoid procedure can help to treat bleeding, mucus discharge, itching and discomfort in and around the anus caused by haemorrhoids.
When should you speak to your specialist about a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoid procedure?
If you think you have haemorrhoids, speak to your specialist who can take a look at your back passage. They can then decide on your best course of treatment.
How is the rubber band ligation of haemorrhoids procedure performed?
The rubber band ligation of haemorrhoids procedure is carried out in a day case unit, meaning that you’ll be awake throughout the procedure and able to return home the same day.
Your doctor will ask you to lay on your left hand side with your knees up towards your chest. They will then insert a thin medical device called a proctoscope into your anus. The proctoscope has a light on the end to help your doctor get a good view of the haemorrhoids.
They will then use a special device that applies gentle suction on the haemorrhoid, allowing your doctor to then place two or three tight bands around the upper part of the haemorrhoid. The procedure takes around 15 minutes.
The bands are left in place, and over the course of around 10-14 days, they will cause the haemorrhoids to fall off as they lose their blood supply. You may notice the haemorrhoids and the bands in your stools when they fall off, and they can both be flushed away.
What is the recovery like after a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoids procedure?
Your recovery from a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoid procedure will depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level and the nature of your procedure.
Following the procedure, you may feel a dull ache in the treated area that may make you feel like you need to open your bowels urgently. This can result in needing to visit the loo without producing a stool on repeated occasions for the first two days after the procedure. You may notice a small amount of blood in your stools but this should disappear after a few days.
Your medical team will give you advice on eating enough fibre and staying hydrated to promote good bowel health and steps to take to avoid straining to pass stools to give you the best chance of preventing your haemorrhoids returning.
Are there any risks/complications associated with a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoid procedure?
As with any medical procedure, it’s possible for risks or complications to arise. Speaking with your specialist or surgeon beforehand will help you to anticipate any adverse reactions.
A rubber band ligation of haemorrhoids procedure has a relatively low risk of serious complications, but the following events can occur in a small number of cases:
- Excessive bleeding, sometimes occurring 10-14 days after the procedure
A small amount of bleeding each time you open your bowels in the first two weeks after the procedure is normal. If you experience bleeding of more than a cupful (200 mL) in 24 hours, you should seek urgent medical attention.
Around 30 to 40% of patients experience a recurrence of symptoms after several years. The procedure can be repeated if this occurs.
How can I prepare for a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoids procedure?
Prior to a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoid procedure, your surgeon will discuss with you how best to prepare, as each patient is different.
Common preparations for a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoids procedure include:
- Routine blood tests, x rays or scans as requested by your surgeon
- Taking steps to stop smoking if you smoke
- Losing weight if you’re overweight
- Remaining active and doing regular exercise
Are there alternatives for a rubber band ligation of haemorrhoid procedure?
Other procedures to help treat haemorrhoids include surgery to remove them completely, injecting your haemorrhoids with a special fluid to reduce their size or applying radiofrequency energy to them (Rafaelo procedure). Your doctor will discuss your best course of action with you.